3 Lures to Catch Big Fall Bass
In the bass fishing community, fall means football season. Not with a pigskin and shiny helmets, but with football-shaped porky pig sized bass. Just like grizzly bears, bass become food obsessed during the fall to fatten up for the long winter. Their metabolism is about to drop for several months, and the calories they consume during this time may determine their fate.
Professional bass fishing angler Kyle Gelles has three lures that have proven themselves as big bass snatchers during the fall, but only because he understands when the dinner bell is ringing.
Find Bait to Catch Big Fall Bass
“Water temperature is relative to an area and so are the changing leaves,” says Gelles, “but when I see pumpkin spice items for sale, the fall bite is on!”
“The key is finding the bait. Find the bait and find the bass.”
Modern electronics help the search for bait, but Gelles claims they’re not necessary, “Birds can be just as good!” He adds, “If birds are around use lures that will dredge up weeds off the bottom. If you find vibrant, green weeds, you’ve found the bait and the bass.”
With the electronics, he will idle around a lake until he finds bait balls. He shares, “I’m going to idle around points, breaks, and flats.” Then he will put his trolling motor in the water equipped with forward-facing technology to follow the bait.
“There are two types of bait I search for this time of year: shad and perch,” Gelles reveals. “There are different types of shad across the country, but where I’m from (Idaho), perch are often the main forage for bass.” He claims whatever is the main forage, his Top 3 lures will work.
He also insists, “Largemouth and smallmouth bass are very similar during the fall.” So regardless of which species is in your favorite water, the lures below will help put some big ‘uns in the boat.
Lures to Catch Fall Bass
“This is my first pick, but I’m picky: it’s got to have some flash,” Gelles admits. “I’m privy to the Lucky Craft Gunfish 75 in ghost minnow or BP Golden Shiner. It’s always important to ‘match the hatch’ but especially in the fall because this is normally when the water is the clearest.” The Gunfish is a pop-r style plug.
Gelles uses a moderate-fast retrieve with very few pauses. “Fish at the top of the water column are active. A fast retrieve will get their attention, even from long distances. I want my lures to make a lot of commotion. Having a lot of flash helps them see it from faraway as well.”
His topwater rig is a medium heavy 7’4” Daiwa Tatula Elite Cranking/Bladed Jig Rod with a Daiwa Tatula 200 baitcasting reel with a 7:3.1 gear ratio. The reel is spooled with 30-pound JBraid X8 Grand braided line with a 15 or 20-pound monofilament leader.
This tried and true lure gets the call whenever topwater fails to produce. Gelles uses the same rod and reel setup for the spinnerbait as the topwater, but switches the line to J-fluoro Samurai fluorocarbon. “Structure, or lack thereof, determines how strong,” Gelles confesses. “Without structure, I’ll use 14-pound test, but I’ll go all the way up to 20-pound test.”
“I want long casts, so I use either a ½ or ¾ ounce Pepper Custom Baits Double Willow Spinnerbait. When shad is prevalent I’ll use either shad or Snow White colors, but when perch is prevalent, it’s hard to beat chartreuse shad!”
He adds, “I’m either retrieving it fast or moderately fast and snap it every time it comes in contact with weeds. The double willow leaf blades are important, because they allow faster retrieval. Other blades lift the lure too much.”
“This lure requires a little bit of experimentation,” begins Gelles. “You have to let the fish tell you how they want the retrieve that day. It can be different every day of the week! So it’s important not to come with preconceived notions.”
Because jerkbaits are geared toward sight-oriented fish, Gelles wants his jerkbaits to have some flash like his spinnerbaits. “Like a lot of other guys,” he admits, “I mostly use Megabass Vision 110 baits. My favorite colors are GP Crystal Shad, GP Skeleton Tenn, but I also like the ITO Clear Laker.”
He sticks to Daiwa Tatula Elite rods and reels. His preferred rod is a 7’2” medium action Small/Med Cranking Rod. It is teamed up with a Daiwa Tatula SV 103 with a 8:1:1 ratio. It is spooled with an 8 or 10-pound test J-Fluoro Samurai fluorocarbon line.
There are a slew of lures that will catch fall bass, but Gelles’ top 3 will simplify the elimination process and are proven to put bass in the boat. Remember to protect your boat and share your catches with us on Facebook!
Make sure to follow Kyle Gelles on his social media channels!